Penguin Paradise – USW graduate features in Channel 5 series

Rhiannon Gill,  Bird Rehabilitator,  SANCCOB profile

Thousands of viewers have been gripped by a new series set in Cape Town, about the struggles of a wildlife hospital whose aim is to rescue endangered seabirds. Penguin A&E with Lorraine Kelly, observes the tireless work undertaken by the bird conservation team at SANCCOB to use rescue and rehabilitation to reverse the decline of seabirds. We are proud to say that one the team featured is our very own BSc Wildlife Biology graduate, Rhiannon Gill.

We caught up with Rhiannon and asked her about the pressures of filming whilst caring for injured animals.  “I was lucky enough to be filmed a number of times for the programme. It was a great experience, but it’s not as glamorous as one might think. My prime goal is to stay on time with caring for the birds, but at the same time be available for the film crew with answers to any of their questions. 

It takes a lot of practise to say everything right for them first time. When you have birds that require medication at specific times you cannot afford to do multiple retakes. The bird is your priority. It was highly enjoyable though!”

“My degree and time at USW definitely contributed towards me becoming a Bird Rehabilitator. It equipped me with a deeper understanding of the plight of endangered species, the importance of conserving them, and a passion for caring for the rest of the natural world. The degree program was intense and required you to manage your time efficiently, something that is incredibly important in my line of work. It’s a skill I am constantly developing, especially when working in an environment where your day can change at the drop of a hat.”

Read more about Rhiannon; her memories of her time at USW; filming with Channel Five, and the fight to save the endangered birds of South Africa.


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